Welcome back to the second edition of Endless Star Wars! Last week’s installment went over so well that we’ve added 3 more panelists to kick around this week’s question.
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While we digest the finale of Star Wars Rebels season 3, let’s not forget what we saw a week ago in Twin Suns. So with that in mind, this week we flip the script and ask:
“What if Maul Had Killed Kenobi in Twin Suns?”
All it took was the same manoeuver that had cost Qui-Gon Jinn his life: a knock to the nose with the hilt of Maul’s saber and a quick run through with the blood-colored blade. There were no robes falling to the floor, no mystery. There lay Maul’s foe of decades, his torment. Ben Kenobi was dead. In a panic of confusion and lack of purpose, Maul was silent. His great accomplishment, the anticipation of decades dissolving, finally broke him. His madness had returned, and with an anguished scream he ran into the desert.
But where the body of Kenobi had fallen, there were only dusty robes.
The voice was familiar. Could it be? Running across what seemed to be pure light was Qui-Gon Jinn.
“Obi-Wan! Oh, sorry. You probably haven’t heard that name in a long time – a long time. You’re going by Ben now?”
“Uh… yes Master. But… what happened?”
“Old Maulio hit you with the same move he got me with. Really, Ben, you should have seen that coming.”
“Huh. Well, this certainly throws a hydrospanner into things. So this is the Force then?”
“Oh, yes! This place is great! I’ll show you around. It turns out that we can do anything here! We each have a palace, death sticks are actually good for you, and there are as many skimpy Twi’leks as you could ask for!”
“It’s certainly not what I expected, Master.”
“No kidding! After years of living in that temple with the pleasures of the Galaxy forbidden us, I figure we’ve earned this. Now, speaking of pleasures, my friend, let’s go get a few rounds of Jawa Juice. Then I’ll introduce you to the rest of the Ghosty Gang.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi lies dead at Maul’s feet in the cold Tatooine night. What are his next steps? After reveling in what he believes to be his final victory over Obi-Wan Kenobi, he’s reminded of the fact that Kenobi was on Tatooine protecting something. Never one to leave vengeance half-delivered, Maul makes it his new goal to find and destroy whatever Kenobi deemed important enough to waste away on Tatooine for all those years for. Being as crafty and intelligent as he is, Maul makes short work of finding Luke and his family and wiping them out, completing Obi-Wan’s failure and dooming the galaxy in the process.
Outside the Lars homestead, Maul’s exultant screams of victory morph into sobs of despondency. He’s coming to terms with the fact that his hatred of Kenobi is the only thing he was living for. It was the only thing that sustained him in his exile on Lotho Minor, and it was his primary motivator for all of his actions during his life after his return. Now he has nothing. He does not feel fulfilled or vindicated, just alone and directionless. In a strange twist, he ends up living as a hermit in Obi-Wan’s hut in the Dune Sea, attempting to recapture the hatred that once drove him forward and completely oblivious to his former master’s now-unbreakable hold on the rest of the galaxy, having laid all blame on Palpatine’s throwing him aside on himself for being defeated by Kenobi on Naboo.
I would’ve hurled my TV through the front window, tracked down the nearest Girl Scout troop to drown my outrage with Thin Mints, and weaved together a tapestry of expletives so profane that even the President of the United States would blush. I mean, can we possibly get any more sacrilege than this question!? Whose in charge of this thing!?
Having satisfied his thirst for revenge by killing Obi-Wan, Maul now set his sights on destroying Palpatine and the Sith. Maul now knows Obi-Wan’s purpose on Tatooine was to protect ‘someone’ of great importance.
So let’s assume that Maul eventually finds Luke (the last name might give it away) and slowly corrupts and manipulates him into a weapon against the Sith.
For the sake of the argument, let’s also assume that Maul and Luke don’t immediately factor into the greater narrative. I want to take a closer look at some of the other direct repercussions of Obi-Wan’s death.
Most galactic events leading up to the battle of Scarif would continue relatively unimpeded. In the build up to the battle of Scarif Bail says he needs to send for Obi-Wan as opposed to directly contacting him. So it is entirely possible that due to Obi-Wans isolation and lack of communication, his death would have gone unnoticed by the very few who knew he was alive (assuming Ezra didn’t witness it).
At the end of the battle of Scarif, Leia finds herself in possession of the Death Star plans heading for Tatooine to seek out Bails ‘Jedi Friend’. With no Obi-Wan (or Luke) to receive and act on Leia’s message, the droids would eventually be captured along with the Death Star plans.
Han Solo’s encounter with Obi-Wan on Tatooine wouldn’t have happened and he and Chewy wouldn’t have joined the Rebellion or met Luke or Leia. With the mission to Alderaan no longer occurring Princess Leia is left imprisoned on the Death Star and without capturing and tracking the Falcon, the Empire has no means to immediately locate the position of the hidden Rebel base, delaying or even preventing the Battle of Yavin.
So the drastic altering of Luke’s path in the wake of Obi-Wan’s death has its merits to consider but the more immediate galactic repercussions would be felt in the events following the Battle of Scarif. Obi-Wan’s death would completely alter the course of the Galactic Civil War and although the Rebellion would live to fight another day, the ‘hope’ delivered after the battle of Scarif is lost (maybe forever) and the Death Star is left to force the remainder of the galaxy into complete submission.
To quote Yoda, “To a dark place this line of thought will carry us.”
Obi-Wan is the linchpin of A New Hope. Without his involvement, things get real dodgy real quick for the good guys. And then you have to factor in the curveball that is Darth Maul still being alive.
Knowing Maul’s obsession with Kenobi, the first thing he does is track down this promising disciple that Obi-Wan speaks of. He discovers Luke and realizes he should upgrade his apprentice plan. So he knocks off Ezra and begins to train Luke in the Dark Side of the Force, promising him adventure and glory amongst the stars and a surefire way to destroy the hated Empire.
Meanwhile, those Death Star plans never make it off Tatooine. While R2-D2 goes searching for a Jedi Master who is no longer alive, the stormtroopers eventually track him down and blow him to pieces. Princess Leia is executed as a traitor about the Death Star. And the Empire keeps on keeping on, just blowing up planets left and right until they locate the Rebel base on Yavin IV.
While the Rebellion dies a hideous death, Maul and Luke confront Darth Vader. That’s when the plot twist happens. Darth Vader reveals that Luke is his son, and he turns him against Maul. With lightsabers flashing, the two butcher Darth Maul, cutting him in half and then into quarters, just to make sure. Then Vader and Luke set their sights on the Emperor; not even the dreaded Sith Lord can stop the both of them from overpowering him.
Together, they rule the galaxy as father and son. At least until Luke decides the old man is cramping his style…